Being funny, being tied: Guys in Ties to perform Friday


Comedy troupe Guys in Ties will perform at the Sheraton on Friday to benefit the Shelter House.

Comedy can deliver happiness; pair it with giving back to the community, and it’s a perfect event.

Shelter House, an organization aimed at ending homelessness, will host an event at the Sheraton, 210 S. Dubuque St., on Friday. At the event, there will be a cocktail hour, tie-judging contest, and a performance from comedy troupe Guys in Ties.

“It’s kind of an event in which people come together, people who even haven’t really heard of Shelter House or maybe haven’t been involved in the past,” said MacKenzie Bihl, the communication and marketing manager at Shelter House.

A 7 p.m. cocktail party will include a tie-judging contest, in which people may win prizes or gift cards for wearing the funkiest tie, and other games before the show starts. Then, the Guys in Ties’ performance will start at 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Adamson, a member of Guys in Ties and Comedy Sportz, got his start in comedy through his father. At 16, his father was the manager of a comedy troupe and did not want his son to perform. However, while he was out of town one evening, a member didn’t show up, so the group put Adamson on stage.

“It takes a lot of confidence and savvy to go in and perform in front of a hotel or a gymnasium; you have to be adaptable,” he said. “We needed to dress up, slim down, and be better than anyone else offering entertainment.”

In the past, Shelter House has hosted a spring gala for its fundraiser; it wants to transition to add authenticity.

“The gala has been a great fundraiser in the past, but we’re just kind of looking for a fresh new thing for people to purchase and to feel really welcomed into,” Bihl said. “A gala can really speak to one group of people, but we want to open it up to more individuals.”

A lot of interaction between the audience and troupe will take place during the show. The improv group has games that require suggestions from audience members or volunteers.

During one such game, “Blind Line,” audience members write lines on a piece of paper, and the Guys in Ties members incorporate those lines into their scenes. Several performers are also musicians, so they might bring out some instruments.

“We’re popular for fundraisers because we’re unique, and we’re rated E for anyone,” Adamson said. “You’re not gonna receive any emails on Monday, because we have no curse words, sex, drugs, religion. We have to be funny.”

The proceeds of ticket purchases will help Shelter House continue to provide for the homeless in the community.

“I think it’s going to a really fun night. I think it would be a nice date night or a girl’s night out,” Bihl said. “It could be just that, but it’s also a great opportunity to support a nonprofit that moves people beyond homelessness. What better way to spend your money and spend your night?”

— by Gracey Murphy
Ties that Bind
When: 7 p.m. Friday 
Where: Sheraton, 210 S. Dubuque
Cost: $50

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